Squiz Today / 05 December 2022

Squiz Today – Monday, 5 December

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Squiz Today Podcast

Hey ho let’s go. 

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

16 / 29
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16 / 29
12 / 16
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13 / 28

Squiz Sayings

“I’m a country girl, all I wanted to do was be a little bit different and see the world – that was my one thing.”

Said Melburnian Rachel Davey who with her Slovakian partner Martina Sebova have become the first women from their nations to visit every country in the world. It only took her to tick off 195 countries to find out that Melbourne has the best cafes…

Caps on for a big energy week

It’s less than 3 weeks to Christmas, but a big cost of living issue will be tackled this week when federal, state and territory leaders come together for Wednesday’s National Cabinet meeting. That’s when the Albanese Government wants to get an agreement on “temporary and meaningful” measures to force down the price of energy for households and business. It’s an important one, with the government projecting that power prices will rise by about 20% this financial year and a further 30% next financial year without any intervention. But #itscomplicated…

True dat. And we don’t have the full details on what Team Albanese is cooking up – but neither do the states/territories… And yesterday, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean criticised one proposal that would see the states cap coal prices. To explain: half of our electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants. This year, the cost of coal has risen from about $100/tonne to $600 because the Ukraine has created a scramble for fuel given the sanctions imposed on big energy exporter Russia. Kean says compensation would be required – for coal producers and the state, which would miss out on mining royalty revenue. And he says the national government should be doing the heavy lift because “this is a national problem that requires a national solution.” So look out for that, along with proposals on gas, as we head towards Wednesday.

With an agreement that was struck on Saturday by G7 nations + the European Union + Australia to cap the price of Russian oil transported by sea, which accounts for about 85% of its oil exports. Set to take effect today, the agreement caps the price at US$60 a barrel. Those wanting to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime for the war on Ukraine would prefer a complete ban, but that’s not possible with so many countries relying on Russian oil. So how does it work? Nations that sign up will deny insurance to the tankers delivering oil that’s more expensive than the price cap – and most insurers are based in G7 nations. Russia isn’t having a bar of it, and experts say it could be kept afloat by big markets like China and India, which have stayed mates with Moscow. Again, #itscomplicated, but the hope is it will take the sting out of global energy markets – something that would be welcomed everywhere.

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Higgins has her say

As Brittany Higgins took to Instagram yesterday to call Australia’s justice system a “national shame”, it was reported that she will sue the Commonwealth for about $3 million. The charges against her alleged attacker Bruce Lehrmann were dropped on Friday, and a retrial was abandoned over concerns for her mental health. But Higgins’ interaction with the legal system isn’t over with her lawyers setting out a civil claim against her former bosses, Liberal ministers Linda Reynolds and Michaelia Cash, for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, negligence and victimisation. Reports say that Lehrmann – who has always denied Higgins’ claims – is also considering civil action… He could take aim at several social and media outlets for defamation.

AusPol Crime

Changes afoot in Iran

Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri says the ‘morality police’ – the group tasked with enforcing the country’s strict Islamic dress code – will be disbanded. The announcement made overnight has been contested by state media outlets pointing to trouble within the government, but it follows a statement by Montazeri on Friday that the 4-decades-old law requiring women to wear a headscarf in public is being reviewed. Widespread protests have been ongoing since September, sparked by the death in custody of 22yo Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the morality police for incorrectly wearing her hijab. Campaigners note that Montazeri’s announcement does not change the nation’s conservative laws. They expect the protests to continue because it’s become about so much more than headscarves – they are calling for the ouster of the ruling regime.

World News

The ‘Twitter files’ to rock US politics

There’s never a dull moment for tech billionaire Elon Musk as “episode 2” of the “Twitter Files” are set to drop. It follows the release of confidential emails on the weekend showing President Joe Biden’s staff instructing Twitter to suppress information about the contents of his son Hunter Biden’s laptop. The request was made weeks before he was elected president in 2020. But Musk isn’t dishing the dirt himself – the documents were handed over to journalist Matt Taibbi, and the 2nd drop of information is to show that both sides of US politics pressured Twitter workers to suppress unflattering content. Musk has vowed to be transparent about how information on the platform is curated just as a surge of hate speech has been reported. Twitter’s new ‘trust and safety’ boss Ella Irwin says they are relying on automated moderation and that Musk is encouraging those who remain with the company to “take more risks, move fast, get the platform safe”.

Technology World News

Kate Winslet’s call to protect kids

The big-time actress says parents feel “utterly powerless” about how to help their children with social media. The British actor has been inspired by her new film I Am Ruth – she plays the mother of a teen whose mental health declines as she becomes consumed by online pressures. Winslet says those in power “should step up” with more rigorous security checks as the world on kids’ mobile phones is becoming “darker and trickier” to navigate. And she would like to see “more protection and accountability” and says some platforms should be “banned before a certain age.” Which is a nice segue to remind you about NewshoundsProduced by our Squiz Kids team, it’s an 8-part podcast series with classroom resources, and it’s all about helping kids to navigate the world of mass information. And it’s free… You can find out more here.


Socceroos out, and a bit down…

It was an honour to be in the round of 16, and a win against soccer legends Argentina and their world’s-best player Lionel Messi would have been one of the biggest moments in Australia’s sporting history – but it wasn’t to be. Early birds were treated to a huge game yesterday morning, with the Socceroos going down 2-1. Messi scored first, followed by teammate Julian Alvarez with a goal that will haunt goalkeeper Mat Ryan. Oz’s Craig Goodwin sorta-kinda found the net in the 76th minute, but an equalising goal wasn’t on offer before the final whistle. Despite the loss, there was a lot of praise for our team, including from former top Aussie player Mark Bosnich who said it was “one of the most courageous Socceroos performances I’ve witnessed in my time.” All it means is we’re freed up to focus on The Squiz’s 2nd pick: Senegal, who take on England this morning. Dem Senegal…


Apropos of Nothing

If mullets are your thing, this weekend was the pinnacle with the 2022 Mulletfest Grand Final held in NSW’s Hunter Valley. How you’d pick a winner out of this lot, we don’t know…

F1 legend Valtteri Bottas is in Australia winding down from the season with his partner, Aussie pro-cyclist Tiffany Cromwell. And he’s made an effort to fit in – well, let’s just say he’d have been right at home in the Hunter on the weekend…

If you were an uber Kanye West fan until things took a lurch to the far far far right, there’s one salvo… A London studio is offering free removal of Kanye West tattoos to give “a few former fans with tattoo regret” some relief. Nothing lasts forever…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

Terence Kelly, the man charged with abducting Cleo Smith, is due to front WA court

The 2nd block of hearings of the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme begin – Brisbane

Hearing for Hillsong founder and pastor Brian Houston, who is accused of concealing alleged child sex offence – Sydney

NSW inquiry into historical LGBTIQ+ deaths holds a public hearing – Sydney

ABS Data Release – Business Indicators, September; Insights into Australian smokers, 2020-21

International Volunteer Day

World Soil Day

Day of the Ninja

Anniversary of:
• the birthdays of animator Walt Disney (1901) and muso Little Richard (1932)
• the end of alcohol prohibition in the US (1933)
• the death of former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela (2013)

Squiz the Day

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